Note to foreign reporters looking for a German human-interest story: former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, now in his late 80s and a chain-smoker for years, has been swanning about Germany (g) smoking in public places and trains, in defiance of new smoking bans.
It seems to be some sort of Crusade of Principle against Germany’s new anti-smoking regulations, although Schmidt’s defense boils down to "I’m really old and was a fine Chancellor and I like to smoke, so fuck the law." And speaking of European deference to bigwigs, I should note that others share his view. The Director of the Hamburg Thalia theater, who personally decided to let Schmidt defy the smoking ban in the theater’s cafe, justified himself as follows (g) (my translation):
Director Ludwig von Otting commented thus: "Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi", which he freely translated as follows: "What we let Helmut Schmidt do, we wouldn’t let the cattle (jedem Rindvieh) do."